Michael J. Nallin was one of Hawley, Pennsylvania's confectioners, where you could satisfy your sweet tooth as well as stock up on some groceries. Nallin and his family lived above the storefront at 317 Main Avenue, where they opened the long-time store in 1906. They were in business till at least 1940.

HAWLEY - Michael J. Nallin was one of Hawley, Pennsylvania’s confectioners, where you could satisfy your sweet tooth as well as stock up on some groceries. Nallin and his family lived above the storefront at 317 Main Avenue, where they opened the long-time store in 1906. They were in business till at least 1940.

One of their sons became a noted professor of music in New York City.

His parents, James and Bridget (Monahan) Nallin were immigrants from County Mayo, Ireland. They settled at Marble Hill, the old Irish neighborhood above Hawley, where immigrants came to work on the Pa. Coal Company gravity railroad or the associated D&H Canal.

James Nallin kept a store, believed to have been on North Street very near the corner with Columbus Avenue (judging from the 1872 Hawley map). James was only 32 when he died in 1881. His widow, Bridget, then ran the store.

James and Bridget Nallin had six children.

Thomas F. Broderick, an Erie locomotive engineer, had married Michael’s sister Margaret in 1896, in Hawley. Thomas operated the store for awhile, but in 1910 returned to his career as an engineer. Mrs. Mary A. O’Keefe later operated the store at Marble Hill.

Margaret was born in 1868; she passed away June 23, 1925, age 57.

Her brother, Michael was born August 8, 1871.
Their mother died in 1895; their father in 1912.
Michael was working as an Erie railroad brakeman at Hawley, at the time of the 1900 census.

Opened store

In 1906, Michael opened his confectionary store at 317 Main Avenue.
The Herald, published in Honesdale, referred to the “new Nallin building” (spelled as “Nallen”) in a news brief in September 1901. The report was about a pool room being opened there by James J. Behen. This may have been the same building where Nallin later set up his own store, although in 1905 it was damaged in a fire.

The Herald reported about the fire in the December 28, 1905 edition. It was on Christmas Night, Monday, Dec. 25, at about 7 p.m., in Michael Nallin’s building. The Elite Social Club had a meeting hall on the second floor. A store run by Syrian immigrants was on the first floor. The Syrians operated a pool room in back, in a one-story annex.

According to the Herald, the blaze started in the pool room, where kerosene lamps furnished light. The chimneys of these lamps came within a few inches of the wood ceiling.  Their constant use had caused the wood to be charred, and the fire was inevitable, the reporter noted.  A couple of the young men in the Elite Club rooms discovered the fire and tried to put it out, but were unsuccessful. An alarm was sounded for the Hawley Fire Department.

The Hawley Fire Department, which had organized only seven years earlier after a series of bad fires in town, was lauded for their quick and able work at containing the blaze to just the one building. The furnishings and goods of the store, and the property of the Elite Club were ruined. Michael Nallin carried $2,000 insurance on the building.

“This fire was another well demonstrated example of the work our noble fire company are capable of doing under the cool-headed directions of their leaders, and with the aid of an excellent water system and first class apparatus,” The Herald writer commented.

A brief notice in The Herald from March 1906 reported that M. J. Nallin had opened his new store on 18th Street (Main Avenue). “It makes a very attractive appearance and contains a fine assortment of goods. Mr. Nallin expects to do a strictly cash business.” His store opened March 26, 1906.

Only a little more information has been found about his store.
A half page advertisement in the 1927 book, “History of Hawley, Pa.” by Michael J. McAndrew, contained a stylish logo for “Nallin’s.” The ad states that Nallin carried “fruit, groceries, cigars, tobacco, stationary, confectionary, novelties.” Michael J. Nallin of Hawley was listed as proprietor, and the date of opening was given.

The 1910 census lists him as running a confectionary; in later census years he was listed as a grocer.

Wife helped

On Wednesday, June 8, 1898- at noon, Michael J. Nallin and Anna M. Lynch were married at St. Philomena’s Church in Hawley. Father J. Judge, who was the priest in Hawley at the time, officiated. Anna was born November 24, 1873 in Hawley, to James and Catherine (Reilly) Lynch.
The Nallins made their home above the store.

Mrs. Anna Nallin was listed as a “saleslady” at the store, in the 1920 census.
Eugene “Art” Glantz, who lives in Stroudsburg but was raised in Hawley, said he recalls Nallin’s store. Recalling his boyhood in the 1930’s, Glantz stated, “I do recall buying candy in the Nallin store. I seem to recall that Mrs. Nallin was there more than he.” He added that from the perspective of a young boy, the Nallins to him seemed to be elderly.

Mrs. June Ellingsen Strait also recalled Nallin’s store, although she would more often go to Unger’s shop on the next block down the street. Mrs. Strait, who was born near Hawley in 1920, recalled that she would get a quarter allowance each week for doing chores around the family’s chicken farm and cleaning the house. For that quarter, she said, she could go to the movies in Hawley, buy an ice cream cone, some candy and material for her embroidering.

Stores like Nallin’s and Unger’s would be popular places for Hawley kids after their frequent visits to the movie house on Church Street (the Dreamland) and starting in 1935, the Ritz Theater on Keystone Street.

Michael was 66 at the time of his death, on November 12, 1937. Anna continued to operate the store at least to 1940. Her son Walter, who was teaching music locally, lived at home at that time.

Anna died August 7, 1954 at the age of 80.

Dick Teeter stated that, according to his father, the Nallin store sold firecrackers and related items prior to July 4th each year. These items were displayed in racks along the outside of the front windows.
"On one occasion a passerby accidentally' dropped a lighted cigar on the display. The result was an outstanding and loud display of fireworks some days prior to the annual Independence Day celebration," Teeter related. "I can't swear that this is a true story but I always enjoyed hearing it."Lorraine Bentley recalled that Mrs. Nallin operated it as an ice cream store.

Owned a Hupmobile

The Citizen (Honesdale) reported of April 4 of an unfortunate fender bender accident. “Michael J. Nallin has a bran, span new Hupmobile, and last Sunday he thought he would give it a whirl about town.” The car struck the side of Barker’s bridge, damaging the fender and axle. “The machine will have to be taken to the automobile doctor shop for repairs,” The Citizen added.
It couldn’t have been too bad, for a news item dated June 20 told of Nallin motoring his Hupmobile to Scranton on a combination of pleasure and business.

An April 1908 news brief noted that M. J. Nallin of Hawley was a delegate to the special “N.P.L. convention” which was held in Buffalo. The National Protective Legion (N.P.L.) was a fraternal beneficiary society engaged in providing insurance for its members against losses from casualty, sickness and death. The N.P.L. was formed in 1890. In January 1908, the organization had 236,530 members receiving benefits.

The largest N.P.L. convention in its history was anticipated in September 1909, and was to be held at Wilkes-Barre. A thousand delegates were expected, from across the country.

Michael Nallin bought at least two other properties in town, including the house at the corner of Main and Church in 1911, and Watts Garage on Keystone Street in 1913. It appears he had the store building on Main Avenue at least since 1901.

In 1913 they became car owners, joining a growing rank of those preferring the new mechanical marvel of the roadways to the horse and carriage.

Linus Nallin

Michael and Bridget Nallin raised two boys, Linus and Walter.
“Mr. and Mrs. M. J. Nallin are rejoicing over the arrival of their first born which is a fine boy,” The Herald reported in March 1909. That was Linus Michael Nallin, born on March 18th. Some references give his name as “Louis” or  “Lewis.”

Only a little has been learned about Linus. In July 1926, he was among several other young men from Wayne County who left for one month’s training in the Citizen’s Military Training Camp. They were headed to Fort Meade, Maryland or Fort Eustis or Fortress Monroe in Virginia. After four years, they were slated to be commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.

On January 11, 1932 he was married to Lucille (Fisch) of Lackawanna County. No information has been learned about Linus’ career. Art Glantz recalled that he lived out west, and occasionally came home for a visit.

In their senior years they were residing at Sun City, Arizona.
Linus died at the age of 88, September 28, 1997. His wife lived to 101, passing away July 5, 2009. They were laid to rest in Arizona.

Walter Nallin

Walter Edward Nallin was born in Hawley, April 9 1918.
Following graduation from Hawley High School, Walter studied at the University of Scranton, Marywood, East Stroudsburg State Teachers College and Columbia University. He received his B.S. and M.A. degree in Public School Music. He later earned his Ed.D. degree from New York University.

Walter Nallin taught in several school districts in Wayne County. In 1942, he was teaching at both Hawley High School and at Honesdale High School.

Art Glantz recalled taking music lessons from him while attending school in Hawley.
Walter Nallin also served during World War II.

Dr. Walter Nallin taught at Yeshiva College, and since 1944 was at Bernard Baruch College of the City University of New York, where he became chairman of the department of music. While at Baruch he served as Grand Marshal at graduation ceremonies for many years.

He had also worked as a clarinet recitalist and conductor, performing in professional orchestras in New York, on NBC, CBS and independent radio stations.

“The Musical Idea: A Consideration of Music and Its Ways,” was written by Dr. Nallin; the book was published by Macmillan in 1968. A review at Amazon.com states, “This book makes some attempt to describe music, its materials, lore, stylistic evolution, and traditions.”

In 1954, Dr. Nallin founded the Waldwick Fire Department Band in Bergen County, NJ. He was living in Midland Park, NJ about that time. Still functioning as the Waldwick Band, the current director, Edmund Moderacki, states online, that Nallin had brought together several local band members including that of a local Italian band and a postal carrier band. The 40-piece fire company band marched in many parades. The band became a community band in 1968.

Moderacki, who became one of Dr. Nallin’s assistants in the 1970’s, has been the band leader since Dr. Nallin died. “The 70 member Waldwick Band is one of the most active musical ensembles in Bergen County, part of the legacy of Dr. Nallin,” Moderacki said.

Dr. Walter E. Nallin was 60 when he died on April 26, 1978, at a hospital in Ridgewood, NJ. He was survived by his wife Mary had three daughters, Mary, Kate and Judy, and his brother Linus. He lived in Waldwick at that time, where a street, Nallin Court, was named for him.

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Main sources:
Vintage newspapers found at Fultonhistory.com
Census records at Ancestry.com
The Fraternal Monitor, October 1915
Walwick Band web site
For more information about the Waldwick Band, visit http://www.waldwickband.org.